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Is there a way to mass produce cast lead bullets?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by morroad8, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. morroad8

    morroad8 North Bonneville, WA Member

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    Hello everyone!

    I was wondering if there was a way to mass produce cast lead bullets. I have thousands of pieces of brass (9mm, 40, etc.) and ive been reloading for some time now, but I usually buy my lead bullets from someone else online that casts them. So what i started to wonder was "how do they produce so many?". I think if i casted my own six at a time or whatever...itll take FOREVER to get my brass reloaded...not to mention i shoot quite a bit, so i would go through even more bullets. Just trying to cut my costs and would like some input if anyone has some. Thanks!!!
     
  2. NWnewguy

    NWnewguy Poulsbo New Member

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    I can't speak for how anyone else does it, but 6 at a time using a cheap Lee mold has been working pretty good for me. I look at how much they cost and I figure that I can drop 500 rds an hour easily when I don't have any distractions. Seems pretty reasonable if you don't mind the job. I kind of think it is cool.
    I am not saying you do, but when I go to a public range most people there are just wasting ammo anyway. If you re-aquire the target each time you pull the trigger that is good, but if the range will actually let you draw, that is the most useful skill for self defense with a pistol. I have seen countless times, people throw in a new full mag, and pop off the whole thing into one piece of paper. I guess if you have never shot, then it isn't too bad to get used to recoil etc., but there is definitely a more productive use of ammo. There's also the rimfire choice. The fundamentals of pistol marksmanship don't change.
     
  3. PhysicsGuy

    PhysicsGuy Corvallis, OR Resident Science Nut

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    Yes there is automated casting machinery;

    Magma Mark 8 Bullet Master

    But you're looking at shelling out $10,000+ and then more for molds.

    That is how the commercial casters do it.
     
  4. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    I believe,online,there is a video of a fella operating a manully operatted magma,and it drops 2 bullets almost as fast as you can operate the handle.
    There is way more to casting than you might think,as to alloy hardness,lubes for the lube ring,etc.
    also you'll need to size and lube the bullets on a seperate machine,so there is some work involved,but my guess is you coulld literally do several thousand a day easy.The Star lubersizeer is the most liked one from what I have read.

    pm me if you'd like the addy of a fella I buy boolits from at a very reasonable price.He sin't fast,but he gets it done and they shoot good.
     
  5. morroad8

    morroad8 North Bonneville, WA Member

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    Thank you everyone for your input! I think i'll just keep buying the rounds (seems like a hard / hazardous task).
     
  6. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    I have a magma master caster (the smaller unit) it is not an easy unit to run, and takes a bit of training (you need to know how hot the mold is, too cold, bullets look like raisins, too hot and you drop liquid metal on all your good bullets). It beats the **** out of doing it by hand, but with lead prices right now, unless you're really hot to load up a bunch of ammo, just buy the bullets. The MC is now over $1000, when I bought mine it was under $600. Also, you're looking at about another $500 to get the star lubesizer, all the punches and dies, plus the autofeed, the heater and whatnot.

    I bought mine and do it kinda on the side as a business. However for the most part it's not worth my time to make pistol bullets, and I only make the large rifle calibers, as that's the only way I can do it and make money at it.
     
  7. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Something not yet mentioned is how will you lube those bullets? The Lee Tumble Lube 6 cavity molds drop out bullets ready to be tumble lubed with Lee liquid lube with no bullet sizing operation required. It's very fast and efficient
     
  8. HappyRoman

    HappyRoman Sherwood Forest Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    the costs to set up a commercial machine, get the right alloy for 18 brinell hardness, and all is costly.
    Missouri cast bullets.. on line store is competivie, as is Friendswood bullet co.. there are others also.
     
  9. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    The lube is put on by a machine called a lube sizer. There are a number of incarnations out there, RCBS has one, Lyman has one. The gold standard out there for doing this for the home user is the Star Lube Sizer, which is currently produced by magma engineering. They offer it in a number of setups, for the small commercial user you want the compressed air piston lube feed, the heated base, and the bullet feeder attachment. Grand total for all of that and you're looking at about $500-600 for your lubesizer. Ballisticast is the only major competition to magma, and ballisticast seems to not be completely sure whether they are in business or not. They do sell lube, usually for a decent price when you order a few hundred pounds of it. However, when I first talked to the guy about ordering a machine he kinda gave me the "well, I could make you a machine, but it's going to cost you to make it worth my while..." so I just went ahead and ordered mine from Magma, who is usually pretty good about stuff.
     
  10. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, + - $40 mold and handles + cheap lube you apply with a free 1 lb coffee can, vs + - $600 just to lube the machine made bullets..
     
  11. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    if you ever use one you'll know why... what takes days or hours in drying time and bullet handling is accomplished in seconds using a star lubesizer. Also, that crappy alox tumble lube is horrible, I remember the first time I used it, I was literally cleaning chips of lead out of my barrel.

    The master caster and the star lubesizer take a lot of the work out of hand casting bullets, it's faster, cleaner, and results in fewer burns, spilled lead and other mess. It is not cheaper for startup, not by a long shot. However this thread is about mass production, not about making enough bullets to go shooting this weekend. With all my stuff ready to go, I can crank out about 3000-5000 .45-70-500gr bullets in a weekend. Hand casting at that rate is simply not an option.